At least that's what I think I signed up for.... here's my answers:-
What kind of kit are you interested in receiving?
Mittens or lapghan would be my favourites.
Are you interested in any particular techniques?
I'm always up for anything challenging.
Do you knit, crochet, or both?
Both but I prefer knitting.
What is your favourite colour?
This week it's dark red or dark purple.
What is your least favourite colour?
What’s your style? (elegant, traditional, glamourous, girly, natural, sporty, outgoing, etc.)
I'd like to think I'm elegant and glamorous with a bit of funky thrown in for good measure.
Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?
Anything soft and squishy - Merino, alpaca, that sort of thing.
Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
Mohair, angora, anything scratchy.
Do you do any other crafts?
Hundreds of them when I have the time.
Are there any knitting accessories you are interested in receiving?
Something to stop me constantly losing darning needles.
What do you like to eat?
Curry, Chinese, Mexican, Thai - anything with a chili kick. Oh and dark chocolate!
Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
I HATE NUTS and stripy yarn!!!
Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
If I think of anything - I'll add it here....
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Sunday, 16 November 2008
A couple of weeks ago I was struggling to knit anything at all and now I find myself with way too many projects on the go at once....
Firstly I have a pair of socks for my SoSeSaSwa partner - they are pink and knitted in NDS Angel and that's all I can say until she has received them.
Secondly I have a completed Corsica Waistband.
Thirdly I have half a wristwarmer....It was freezing cold this week and I am trying not to put the Central Heating on during the day, my hands were like ice blocks and I could hardly type. I suddenly thought "I need handwarmers" and started scavenging Ravelry for suitable patterns. I don't like fingerless gloves, they remind me of Fagin, so I was looking for something a bit different. I came across these and printed the pattern off only to find that I didn't really have anything the right weight in my stash that I was prepared to use. My brain was too cold to begin to work out the maths required to make it work with the yarn I do have so I reluctantly gave up. I still want a pair though and have added it to my queue.
I scouted around for a few more hours (ravelry is great when you don't want to do any work) and then started to knit these in some beautiful cashmere aran from Hipknits. I got one skein in a mixed Sale Bag of blue and green yarn and I absolutely love it - shame they don't do it any more.... Anyway I knitted a few rows before realising that even though my gauge was fine, they wouldn't go over my hand - frogged and stared again and have now got up to the bottom of my fingers....but I don't like them. I've stopped knitting on them whilst I have a rethink. I definitely need something to cover my wrists and then flare out over my hands so that my fingers are still free - oh and I only have 75 yards of Aran Weight - any suggestions????
My son's school asked me to teach the children to knit and my son's class teacher said she wanted to knit doves for the Church Christmas Tree, which is being decorated in the theme of 'Peace'. Knitted Doves????? Of course - Alan Dart to the rescue and a few minutes later I had made one of these.
My son's teacher loved it and asked my son to make on for her, two girls in his class also wanted one. So this weekend I've made another three and am currently knitting up the pattern in chunky wool on 6mm needles so it will easier for the 10 and 11 year olds....wish me luck, I'm not that patient with kids.....
Oh and the new Twist Collective threw up yet more beautiful patterns to add to my queue - only one complaint though, they are almost all in Chunky weight yarn and there isn't really a cheap Chunky yarn available in the UK so I don't think I'll be able to knit them any time soon. But if you haven't seen Twist Collective yet - take a look, it's much much better than the Winter IK preview that has also just gone online.
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Sunday, November 16, 2008
Monday, 10 November 2008
Oh and the Beastie at the top is my son's favourite fish - a Golden Nugget Plec. It eats most of the plants and produces masses of pooh out the other end - messy messy beast!
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Monday, November 10, 2008
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Whilst (almost) everyone else was at Ally Pally this weekend, my husband decided it was time to make the Christmas Mincemeat. Since I was a child I have had an aversion to Mince Pies and would not eat them. By the time I was an adult I could just about manage to eat a small one politely without gagging but other than that - YEEEEUUUUKKK!
In the early 1990s Delia did her 'Christmas' series and I was hooked (I had serious cookery ambitions then). In the book is a recipe for Mincemeat with Delia's comment that 'once you've tried it, you'll never go back to shop bought Mincemeat'.......
That year I made an enormous amount of her recipe and then used ready made pastry to make Mince Pies. Everyone who tried one said they were delicious and my husband fell in love - not with me, with the Mince Pies. Encouraged by the flattery, I tried one myself and do you know what? They aren't my favourite food but they were actually edible without gagging - I too was in love with the Mince Pies.
Shop bought Mincemeat and Mince Pies are sickly sweet and for the most part, textureless gloop with too much filling in proportion to the pastry - Mr Kipling and Supermarket Own label being the worst offenders. Home made mincemeat is sweet but not overpowering and is full of Christmassy flavours, it retains all the texture of the ingredients and there is hardly any liquid in it - fabulous stuff. Delia was right, we've never gone back to shop bought Mincemeat and it's been 15 years now.
Anyway, it's normally MY job to make the Mincemeat and the Pies but last year I bought a new Food Processor and Husband decided to MAKE THE PASTRY HIMSELF - yes really! Every weekend he would whip up a new batch of pastry and bake some more pies......This year, he decided he would make the Mincemeat as well and sent me out on a shopping expedition for all the ingredients, oh and 'get me two new bun tins as well - the old one is rusty and I need more than one'. Typical man, can't do anything by halves - has to start his own Mince Pie factory instead.
He started weighing out the ingredients with our younger son, but after a while the child was bored and sloped off to watch TV. Then he decided he couldn't work the zester so got me zesting and juicing lemons and oranges whilst he sloped off the to shop for almonds......Needless to say I ended up finishing the Mincemeat. It's made now - complete with a very large slug of Brandy and is 'maturing' until the weekend when, I'm pretty sure, husband won't be able to leave it alone and will start making Mince Pies.
We have also been tempted to make our own Christmas Pudding this year - good ones are really expensive considering what's in them and the Times last week had some good links to recipes for microwaving them, thus avoiding the 6-8 hour steaming process which has always put me off. I'll let you know how we get on this weekend with that project!
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
no not really, I'm just jealous. I went online yesterday in search of some luxury yarn for my SoSeSaSwa partners but every store I went to had cleared out their online inventory in order to take it all to Ally Pally!
There's nothing in my stash that I am prepared to part with so I am stuck until everyone updates their shops after the weekend - how cruel is that?
P.S. was trying to knit mittens for Operation Christmas Child last night but I've lost my sewing up needle again......ARGH!!!!
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Well it feels like I am anyway. I could write a very long list of all the tedious little things I have been doing over the last week or so, but you wouldn't be interested, really you wouldn't. I have been VERY busy frogging though
First I cast on for these
And frogged them when I realised my palm was wider than the glove
And frogged again when I realised that the start of the fingers was way too low
And frogged for the final time when I realised that the fingers were going to be too short and that I really couldn't accommodate all these differences into the pattern because I don't get enough thinking time.
My question now is.....do I get three lots of Frogging Points on Knit Wars or just one?
Fresh from my success at Glove Knitting I moved on with enthusiasm to Corsica and after completing a swatch I plunged straight in to knitting the cabled waist panel. Each pattern repeat is supposed to be 4.5 inches wide and 6 inches long. Mine were 4.5 inches wide and 4 inches long!!! I frogged back to the beginning and started again - managed to get the length up to 5 inches per repeat. Frogged again and cast on with bigger needles - now I have 5.75 inches and I'm going to have to make do with that. I'm completely fed up with the damn cabling pattern now and can't wait to finish the waist band and move on to the rest of the sweater.
How many frogging points do I get for this?
And finally, they say troubles always come in threes, so here is my third knitting disaster of the week - Danbyholm. I'll add a photo or two shortly (issues with the camera and the USB ports again) but lets just say that although the finished sweater is a thing of true beauty on the hanger, once I put it on my body it looks fugly.....I cannot bear to wear it, the sweater will have to be frogged........more Knitwars points for me!
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Sunday, October 05, 2008
Monday, 29 September 2008
It's official - I am bored to death of raspberries. I never thought I would see the day when I would look at a plate full of freshly picked raspberries and think - YUK but today it happened every time I opened the fridge.
I bought 5 canes of Autum Bliss 2 years ago and stuck them in the bare earth in January. By summer I had 3 feet tall plants with just a few raspberries. Last year I had more raspberries each day than I could eat and froze a lot of them. This year, despite the rain, we have been inundated with them - I can't face the sight of them now. If I shut my eyes, I can see raspberries - it's awful. I have made two lots of Oven Jam a la Nigella and given them away to friends. I have filled every empty ice cream container in the house and frozen them all, I've made raspberry sauce and raspberry cake and now I have run out of raspberry recipes.
This summer I planted a thornless blackberry so next year I shall be moaning about all the blackberries aswell - you have been warned!
P.S. As I have now lost 3lbs in 2 weeks with the dreaded Weightwatchers, I can't eat puddings (I need all my points for alcohol instead) The raspberries will have to stay in the freezer for a few more weeks but once I feel able, I will make Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Cake, yum yum.
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Monday, September 29, 2008
Monday, 22 September 2008
I've finished knitting Danbyholm but I can't find a sewing up needle. Is there one lurking in the bottom of my Knitpicks Options bag? - Nope. Looked through the bag containing all my dpns - Nope. Is there one in the bottom of the knitting bag containing an unblocked but finished Skin of The Sea? - Nope. What about underneath all the Aran Weight Silk that's waiting for a suitable pattern? - Nope. In the sewing box with all the reels of thread? - Nope. In the tin containing all my pins?
I am reduced to wandering aimlessly around the house looking for places I might have left a sewing up needle.......
Where do you keep yours?
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Monday, September 22, 2008
Signed up for the Socktopus Secret Santa and here are my answers to the questionnaire:-
1. What are your favourite colours and fibres?
Colours - Blue, Purple, Dark Red, Baby Pink
Fibres - Merino, Silk - anything really really soft.
2. Anything that makes your toes curl? (Fibre, colour, other)
Day Glo Brights, Fuschia Pink, Mohair and Angora
3. Would you describe yourself as a beginner, intermediate or advanced knitter?
Advanced but not extreme - no two at a time socks on DPNs or double knitted bags!
4. Do you have an online wishlist? (Amazon or other)
5. Any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Can't think of anything but I'll keep you posted.
6. What is your favourite:
Snack? - Chocolate, anything Coconut
Book? - Crime Novels are my Favourite but I am also a Sci-Fi Geek
Movie? - This is really hard becasue the only time I get to go to the Cinema is to see kids' movies. I like the original 3 Star Wars films, James Bond, Indiana Jones - that kind of thing.
Music? - I am forced to listen to my son's ipod in the car so we currently like The Feeling, Melee and Mika but his tastes change daily so it can be hard to keep up.
7. What are your favourite items to knit? Sweaters, jackets, cardigans.
8. Any patterns that are top of your queue? My Ravelery queue is long but not in any particular order - I tend to get swayed by the latest issue of Vogue or Interweave and am currently trying to find cheap Chunky Weight wool for this
9. Do you have any other hobbies? Gardening, Sewing, Cooking, Reading.
10. Tell us about yourself. When did you first pick up your needles? Who/what encouraged you to start knitting? How would you describe your knitting style? Are you a process knitter or a product knitter, etc.
I was forced to learn to knit as a child and hated it but was soon knitting little outfits for my teddies with my Mum's left overs. Didn't knit anything full size until I was a teenager and then stopped knitting for about 10 years in my thirties when I had too many other things to do with my time. I am both a Product and a Process Knitter - I knit jumpers and cardigans in order to wear them but will only knit something that is complicated or has an unusual construction. I sometimes knit socks but don't really like wearing home made socks much so I only knit socks that are difficult to knit!! I hate knitted hats, so I never knit them. Don't like shawls because they fall off all the time but love lace knitting because it needs concentration.
I am trying to reduce my stash - no I really mean it - I have enough yarn to make 9 sweaters and I really need to get cracking.
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Monday, September 22, 2008
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
I signed up for Ravelympics - in THREE categories....I Must be mad.
Firstly we have WIP Wrestling which for me involves just 2 projects - Skin of the Sea which I recently re-started in a blue-green Aran Silk, a Pink Daisy Cardigan which has come out way too big (I misread the size of the needles required, translating the US size into millimetres!).
Secondly we have Designer Discus in which I am designing a pair of colourwork mittens with a theme of Glendurgan (a beautiful garden in Cornwall).
And finally we have bead wrangling which requires me to finish the beaded Mystery Stole 3.
Nothing too ambitious but I am conscious that the Games have been going for several days now and I haven't finished anything.....
I did however sign up for Mystery Stole 4 and Secret Stole in an effort to use up my Laceweight Stash. I absolutely love lace knitting but hate shawls so Stoles are a good way to get my fix. Need to go get beads.....
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
I've got really behind with these but now I've managed to combine my Blogger accounts, I can use this Blog without being logged out of my Gmail account.
What are you doing to participate in WWKIP day on Saturday?
I can't participate in WWKIP - I am way too embarrassed to knit in public. I have no knitting friends who would share the embarrassment with me so I will be staying indoors. The last time I knit in public I was knitting through my eldest's school play and made a huge mistake in the pattern. Never again....
What is the strangest place you have ever knit?
See the above...
Picture Bonus: Post a picture of you knitting in public on Saturday, or if you don't get a chance to knit in public on Saturday, take a place of your favourite place to knit at home.
My favourite place to knit is curled up at one end of the sofa, in front of the TV with a glass of wine resting precariously on the arm!
Which three guests (alive or not) would you invite to a dinner party and why?
First two are easy - Stephen Fry, because he is just so interesting and clever. Despite the fact that I know he has an earpiece and a computer in QI, he is still amazingly funny and clever and provided he didn't monopolise the conversation, he'd be great company. Second is Patrick Stewart who I don't know that much about in real life but as I have been in love with Jean-Luc for 20 odd years I can't resist putting him next to me at my imaginary dinner table. The final choice is more difficult as I am not really a celebrity worshipper and would rather have somebody witty and clever than somebody famous - do you know anyone I could choose?
Is there a TV programme you watch religiously?
Not anything that I would cry over....but I do REALLY like House, CSI (only Vegas), Dr Who and Bones. Sky+ is also set to record Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, Dexter.
What TV programme(s) do you avoid like the plague?
Big Brother. Anything with 'Celebrity' in the title. Any kind of Sporting Activity.
Is there a TV programme that you find works particularly well for knitting along to?
No, I can knit whilst (not) watching anything.
What was/is your favourite kids TV programme? Maid Marian & her Merry Men. Scooby Doo (the original series not the latest 'Get a Clue' series) Art Attack.
What is your favourite thing that you have knit? (It might not be your favourite thing to wear but it was the most enjoyable to knit). I'm only half way through it - Mystery Stole 3 From Pink Lemon Twist - love the lace, the concentration required, the beads, love everything about it except the fact that I can't knit this project when the kids are around.
What is the worst thing you've ever knit? I have knit many awful socks that have almost all be frogged - I usually hate the way the hand-dyed yarns knit up and so I never knit the secodn sock.
What are your favourite knitblogs? I have lots on my Google Reader but prefer to read blogs written by people I actually 'know' from elsewhere on the web - e.g. Ravelry or Swaps.
What is the most amazing knitted thing you have seen (This Ravelry thread might help)
I've ploughed my way through that thread and now my head is buzzing with hundreds of things - can't make up my mind at all now. I'm leaning towards the lace projects though as I know they need concentration to knit.
What is your favourite knitted item to wear? Post a picture if you can.
I am super -critical of absolutely everything I knit and so although I wear all my sweaters I never fall in love with any of them. They are all too hot, too big or too small in a particular place, don't fasten, itchy etc. In fact, reading back through that list - why do I knit at all?
Choose one - don't think just choose...
1. Stop or go? Stop.
2. Going out or Staying in? Staying In.
3. Small town or big city? Small Town.
4. Happy or sad? Sad.
5. Straights or Circulars? Straights.
6. Red or Blue? Blue.
7. Seaside or countryside? Seaside.
8. Fish or chips? Chips.
9. Surprises or plans? Surprises.
10. Wine or beer? Wine.
11. Sweaters or cardigans? Cardigans.
12. Pizza or Pasta? Pasta.
13. Chopsticks or fork? Chopsticks.
14. Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owls.
15. Knitting or crochet? Knitting.
16. Hot or cold? Cold.
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, 14 July 2008
Update - They're great, but not perfect.....
The underwear experiment is a success and they undies now come off the line soft enough to wear straight away. It makes you wonder what exactly is in the washing powder that makes your clothes go so stiff and scratchy!
The towels are better than they used to be but not as soft as the tumble drier. They are getting softer though so maybe I need to keep using the soapnuts for longer to get rid of the old stuff still lurking in the fibres.
The only disappointment is that they have almost no effect on tougher stains like grass, fruit juice, tomatoes etc. This is where a Biological Powder really wins the day. Despite using a stain remover stick and soaking for hours, these stains just won't come out. I have resorted to buying a small tub of 'Vanish' to use on my daughter's 'little accidents'. Still the whole laundry kit is much cheaper and much greener than it was so I'm happy for now with the Soapnuts and I'll be sticking to them from now on.
Posted by Miranda Moonstone at Monday, July 14, 2008
Monday, 23 June 2008
Yesterday I finished the last of the Concentrated Washing Liquid so I had to take the plunge and use the Soapnuts. I put 6 of them into an old pair of tights and put them in the drum on top of the clothes. I can honestly say that so far I am very very impressed. Those 6 little nuts washed 3 whole loads of coloured clothes. Everything came out just as clean as it did with the ordinary washing powder or liquid and the clothes smelt of absolutely nothing.
This morning I am doing 2 further experiments - I have hung a load of underwear out on the line to air dry, this will test the theory that without chemicals, laundry should dry to a soft finish rather than like cardboard. The second experiment was on a 6o degree wash for a load of towels - this will be the fourth load of washing from just one lot of shells so I'm testing how far I can push them. It will also be the ultimate 'line-drying' challenge as I can't bear towels that have been dried outside and have been using the tumble drier on them come rain or shine.
Let you know later how I get on.....
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Monday, June 23, 2008
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
It's here again - The Richard & Judy Summer Reading List I mean. The book shops (and Amazon) are still promoting the last list of books but the new list of 8 is here:-
The Outcast by Sadie Jones
No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
Down River by John Hart
Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller
Addition by Toni Jordan
The Resurrectionist by James Bradley
I have trawled Amazon for the ISBN numbers and logged on to the Library Website - none of the books are stocked in my local library, 2 of them are not listed as being in ANY Cheshire library so I'll have to wait for the Library to catch up with reality..... Will put in my reservations today if I can but I still haven't finished the latest Dalziel & Pascoe - A Cure For All Illness and I have another book waiting behind it in the reading queue. DH doesn't like it if I stay awake all night reading either!
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Hubby came home yesterday talking about Soapnuts. Now neither of us are Monster Raving Loony Eco Warriers but he was obviously keen on the idea, so this morning I ordered some.
Soapnuts? Here's the blurb (shamefully stolen via Google, but hey why reinvent the wheel?)
In India and Nepal, the soapnut (sapindus trifoliatus) has been used as a vegetable washing detergent since time immemorial.
The soap nut tree grows mainly in South India. In March and April, the tree is adorned with white flowers, and the ripe soapnuts are harvested in October. When removed from the tree the soapnuts are sticky and golden in colour. They are dried and their colour becomes reddish-brown. Then the nuts are cracked and the black kernel, which can neither be eaten nor used for washing is removed and the shells, which contain saponine (a natural detergent), are packed up in cotton bags.
How does it work?
The somewhat sticky saponine in the shells of the soap nuts acts in a similar way to normal soap. As soon as the shells get in contact with water, this natural saponine soap is released and creates mild suds. Place 4 to 5 half shells in one of the provided cotton bags. Tie the bag and place it with your laundry in the washing machine. Start your machine as usual, with or without pre-wash. The remains of the soapnuts can be composted or be disposed of through organic refuse.
The soap nut can be easily used in your washing machine. Unlike common washing powders and liquids that contain considerable amounts of chemicals, the soapnut is environmentally friendly and is gentle on the skin.
Can be used for all fabrics and with all temperatures.
No need for fabric softeners
Works well with delicate fabrics such as silk and wool
When washing in cold to warm water, soapnuts can be used for a second time the same day
In the case of heavy stains, we recommend adding one tablespoon of stain remover.
For a fragrant wash add your favourite essential oils
These work out at about 6p per wash against 20p per wash for your standard powder. I have also read that your clothes don't go hard on the washing line either and anything that leads to reduced ironing is a winner as far as I am concerned. I plan to use Ecover to boost the Whites wash but since almost all our clothes are coloured, I don't think I'll need much. I'll report back and let you know how I get on with them.
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
After a few 'difficult' swap experiences I have got over myself and signed up for more! This one is for UK participants only and is still open for signup - here if you are in the UK and interested in joining in. This swap is themed - you provide your unknown Spoiler with an image which sums you up and they have to base their swap package on the image.....wonder what the heck I'm going to choose!
Answers to the swap questionnaire then:-
Part One: Crafting
Do you knit, crochet, or both? - Both
What do you like to make? - Sweaters, Jackets, Cardigans mostly.
Do you have a favourite project? I am always super-critical of everything I make so no completed project is a particular favourite. I love my Rogue Cardigan though as it is currently not quite finished!
Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn? I am a die-hard wool fan.
Do you have a least favourite type of yarn? I don't like novelty yarns but only because I can't find anything I want to make with them! I also hate self-striping sock yarns with a passion!
Do you do any other crafts? I can do lots but rarely get the time to indulge, my other crafts include painting, drawing, tapestry, embroidery, sewing (clothes and soft-furnishings), dyeing and anything else that's practical.
Do you knit in public? You must be joking! When do I ever have the time to sit down anywhere in public?
If so where do you like knitting and what is your "portable" project? I take a pair of socks to knit when we go on holiday but they rarely get touched!
What do you carry your "portable" knitting in? A plastic bag - the shame of it!!!
Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over? Not exactly lusting over this one but I am searching for a Hairpin Lace gadget that doesn't cost the earth, point me in the right direction if you know where to find one!
Part Two: Your Favourites
What is your favourite colour? Blue
What is your least favourite colour? Orange
What scents/smells do you like? Citrus, Tomatoes, Freshly Mown Grass
What don’t you like? Anything floral.
How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure) What's pampering? I am a sucker for hand cream but I'm afraid it has to be Natural and free from Parabens or I won't use it.
What goodies to you like to eat? (chocolate, biscuits, sweets,crisps etc) Yes all of those, as much as possible. No seriously I love dark chocolate (No Nuts) the best.
Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Either so long as I don't have to get up and make it!
Any particular kind? I drink plain Yorkshire Tea, the coffee tends to come from the Taylors of Harrogate range but I have been known to experiment with funny flavoured coffees, especially in Starbucks.
Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit?
I almost always watch TV whilst I'm knitting - CSI, House, Bones, Lost, Criminal Minds, Dalziel & Pascoe, Inspector Lynley - most Crime/Thriller type shows. I also watch Coronation Street whilst I am eating my tea!
Part Three: About you, Living & Past-times
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be (and why)?
OK I would be a slightly overweight handspun yarn, spun from organic or recycled fibre and with unusual eclectic items woven in to the yarn. P.S. I would hate knitting with something like this....
Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)
I live in the North West of England. I am not a WAG or a Footballer's Wife but there are an awful lot of them round here!
Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
I was born and bred in Yorkshire and did not leave until I was 23 when I went to Newcastle. I have also lived in Surrey, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Wiltshire before coming to rest in my current village.
What is your favourite place in the UK?
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
What other hobbies do you have?
Gardening and Reading take up almost all the spare time I have.
Part Four: The Theme
This is a view of the inside of the Alhambra Palace. I chose it for the following reasons - I REALLY want to go there, the colours are fabulous, I love architecture and geometric patterns, the Islamic geometric patterns on the tiles and walls in the Palace are amazing, the gardens are also meant to be inspirational and some day I would like to have enough time to create something in the garden rather than just dig up weeds!
Final Part:Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
NO NUTS - I'm not allergic I just can't stand them (apart from Coconut which I'm not sure is even a proper nut....)
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Saturday, 15 March 2008
Busy busy busy in my house - eldest son's 10th birthday yesterday and today his friends arrive for a sleepover. I'll be lucky to sit down at all never mind look for the Snitch but here are my answers to the quiz so at least I've done my bit for Ravenclaw!
1. When Rita Skeeter prints a bad articles about Hagrid in the Daily Prophet, which Professor teaches Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class while he is away?
c. Professor Grubbly-Plank
2. What was the article Rita Skeeter wrote about Hagrid called?
c. Dumbledore's Giant Mistake
3. When the school champions were being chosen from the Goblet of Fire, whose name came out first?
c. Cedric Diggory
4. What is the spell Ludo Bagman says to magically magnify his voice when he commentates?a. Sonorus
5. What kind of dragon did Cedric have to face in the first task?
b. A Swedish Short-Snout
6. Who raised the trophy after winning the world cup?
b. Troy and Quigley
7. How many bedrooms did Mundungus Fletcher claim to have?
8. For what did Moody mistake his birthday gift of a carriage clock?
b. A basilisk egg
9. What did Mr. Ollivander produce for the end of Cedric's wand?
a. A bunch of flowers
10. The dark mark is on Snape's left arm.
Picture Scavenger Hunt
Mundungus Fletcher (like this picture the best!!)
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Saturday, March 15, 2008
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
My HSKS 4 Swap Package arrived yesterday, I took photos and everything but we had a power cut in the afternoon and after that my computer just refused to recognise the camera was waiting to download. After several re-boots this morning, it is now OK and I can present to you my fantastic parcel from Millicent Brocklehurst!
Here it is in the box......
And here is what was inside the box - that box was like the Tardis - it held an amazing amount!
Two Sock Bug Sock Patterns, A set of Harmony DPNs, Stitch Markers, Fleece Artist Merino Sock Yarn, Tazo Tea, Stitch Holder, Post It notes, Jelly Beans and Dark Chocolate. What a lucky girl I am. And just look at that fantastic bag - very strong and exactly the right size for a Sock Project. Millicent has been very clever indeed, she's a typical Ravenclaw.
Here's a close-up of the stitch markers, handmade and from Etsy - the first thing I have ever had from Etsy, aren't they lovely?
And here's a close up of the yarn - blue and bronze, perfect! My first ever Merino and first ever Fleece Artist yarn. I'm looking forward to trying it but it will have to wait - I am test knitting the updated pattern for Sydney Socks and have a Master Coriolis on two circulars to finish first!
Here's a close-up of my lovely new bag. I haven't seen this pattern before so I'm off to Ravelry to find out what it is.
Thanks again CentyB - 100 House Points to you.....
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Thursday, March 06, 2008
This one's tricky as I have to use my Creative Spells (not good at those, even on a good day). I've probably taken this way too seriously as I have really tried to make my spells sound genuine.....
Conjure up the correct spells for the following activities.
1. Do my homework for me. Pensum Scholasticum
2. Tidy up my bedroom. Cubiculum Elegansis
3. Make a delicious chocolate cake. Chocolato Delicioso (did you know there is no latin word for chocolate?)
4. Make my professor stay in bed today. Professorius Somnium
5. I would like breakfast in bed, please. Alimentum Dormitorius
6. Stick all my Quidditch opponents' feet to the floor. Adglutino Inimicus Pedimentis
7. Give everyone the giggles. Giggleum Ridiculum
8. Dye some yarn in my favorite color. Perfundo Versicoloris
9. Unravel the mess I've made with my yarn. Extrico Lanatus
10. Knit my Prefect the perfect bag! Texere Minerva Brea (bit of a cheat since there is no Latin word for Knit - Texere is Latin for Weave!!!)
J.K.Rowling eat your heart out!
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Thursday, March 06, 2008
Friday, 29 February 2008
OK, so my challenges for this month were...
Thrifty Knitters Sock Club - Earl Grey or Sydney. I managed to get one Sydney sock as far as the ankle but then realised that it wouldn't go past my instep/heel so I need to frog it and make the bigger size. March's patterns are both really interesting and I have ordered two Knitpicks circular needles to try socks on two circulars as one of them is a Cat Bordhi pattern.
Sock Stash Elimination Campaign - I have been unsuccessful with Bellatrix so thought about Nagini, but thinking was all I did and I'm ashamed to say that I did not even cast on for these socks. Will try harder in March!
Sock a Month KAL - nope I failed to finish a pair of socks throughout February so I won't win this one either!!
And the reason for all this failure? I was busy with Bettna and then JUST TOO TIRED TO KNIT, and believe me that's really, really tired. Bettna should be washed and blocked tomorrow ready for its photocall so I hope to post pictures soon.
Wish me luck for March, I need to finish something!
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Friday, February 29, 2008
Well my Secret Swap email address is defunct but at least Blogger will still let me in!
Here are my answers to the Ravenclaw House Quiz:-
1. What colorless and odourless potion forces the drinker to tell the truth?
2. If the spell to Apparate goes wrong and leaves half of you behind, you have been what?
3. Who wrote the Standard Books of Spells Grades 1 and 2?
4. What is it called when brother wands meet?
5. Name the charm used by Ludo at the World Cup to amplify his voice.
6. For what is the charm Aparecium used?
Makes Invisible Ink visible again
7. What charm requires the use of a Secret-Keeper?
8. What color should the Strengthening Potion be?
9. What plants are used in preparing a confusing potion?
Scurvy-grass, Lovage and Sneezewort
10. What condition is cured by Glumbumble?
Some forms of hysteria
11. What potion makes a werewolf safe so he can keep his mind when he transforms, and what substance makes it useless?
Wolfsbane Potion makes a werewolf safe but sugar makes it useless.
12. When does Fluxwood, an ingredient used in making Polyjuice Potion, have to be picked?
13. What color should a Shrinking Solution be?
14. What potion is made from asphodel and wormwood?
15. For what are Jobberknoll feathers used?
Memory potions and truth serums.
Fingers crossed ......
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Here are my answers:-
1. With whom does Ginny go to the Yule Ball?
2. When Harry arrives at the Burrow and Mrs. Weasley makes them all dinner the night before they leave for the Quidditch World Cup, what does her wand turn into?
b. rubber chicken
3. Since some of the sixth-year girls didn't have any quills on them, what did they think Krum might sign their hats in?
4. How old does the Quick Quotes Quill say that Rita Skeeter is?
5. What color cloak is wormtail wearing in the Riddle house?
6. What color is "Mad Eye" Moody's magical eye?
7. What color are the robes that Rita Skeeter was wearing when Harry meets her at the Weighing of the Wands ceremony?
8. What does Sirius Black tell Harry, Ron and Hermione to call him when speaking around anyone else?
9. Which team beat Wales, disqualifying them from competing for the Quidditch World Cup?
10. What does Madame Maxime say is the only thing her steeds will drink?
c. single-malt whisky (please note the Scottish spelling of Whisky) - Whiskey is Irish and I'm sure Madame Maxine drinks Scotch.
Picture Scavenger Hunt
Goblet of Fire
Dragon from first challenge
Madam Poppy Pomfrey
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Not much knitting going on here - I have a pain up the inside of my right arm. Half-term holiday is nearly over and I haven't done half of the things I needed to.....
Here are my answers to the Ravenclaw House Quiz (with a bit of help from the HP Lexicon)
1. What is Professor McGonnagall's first name? Minerva
2. Who is the librarian of Hogwarts? Madam Irma Pince
3. What is Madam Rosmerta's job? Landlady of the Three Broomsticks
4. What is Rita Skeeter's secret? She's an unregistered animagus.
5. Madam Hooch is instructor of what subject? Games
6. Who is Parvati Patil's best friend? Lavender Brown
7. What Quidditch position does Cho Chang play? Seeker for Ravenclaw
8. What is the name of Fleur Delacour's little sister? Gabrielle
9. Who is professor of Divination? Sybill Trelawney
10. Who wrote "A History of Magic"? Bathilda Bagshot
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Thursday, February 14, 2008
Thursday, 7 February 2008
I only have one Sleeve/Body Panel left to go and then it's on to the sewing up.
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Thursday, February 07, 2008
Friday, 1 February 2008
This is the third and final group/KAL I intend to join in 2008 (note, I said 'intend' so I reserve the right to change my mind, especially if Pink Lemon Twist does another Mystery Stole.) You can join the Sock Stash Elimination Campaign group too by clicking on the link. Each month our Leader issues a set of 'Orders' telling us what kind of project to knit using Sock Yarn from our Stash. When you've finished you post your project to the Blog - there's a monthly prize too! There's also a group on Ravelry for sharing FO's and asking advice, chatting etc.
My effort for January is Swing Thing from Magknits January 2006. The main body is made with Patons Aran but the narrow coloured bands are made with Sophie's Toes - yes the same stuff that also made the Jaywalkers! I'm not sure if it will count but the 'Orders' for January were for something for a Baby and I don't know any Babies other than my own wee one!!
So here is the best shot of the finished coat/cardigan (I'll compain yet again about how bad Digital Cameras are at taking pictures of red things!!).
And here is a close-up of the sock yarn element for the record...
Typically, Miranda said 'Me no like it' when I tried to put it on her for the photo...I'm hoping she'll wear it soon though. It's a lovely coat/cardigan and was enjoyable knitting. I'd be happy to make another one if she eventually weras this one!
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Friday, February 01, 2008
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Here are my answers to the Scavenger and Picture Hunt.
1. What was Harry dreaming about the first time he woke up with his scar on fire?
b. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill
2. What is the problem with leprechaun gold?
a. It vanishes after a few hours
3. Why did Mad-Eye Moody turn Malfoy into a ferret?
c. Malfoy attached Harry when Harry's back was turned
4. Sirius warns Harry to be careful around Karkaroff because he had been a Death Eater. Which one of the professors at Hogwarts, who also used to be a Death Eater, is frequently bothered by Karkaroff?
Answer is Snape
5. Voldemort could have used the blood from any foe to make the potion that revived him work, but he held out for Harry's blood. Why?
c. The special protection Harry received from his mother would also pass to Voldemort
6. How old would Frank have been on his next birthday?
7. Amos Diggory works for?
b. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
8. Who shared a carriage with the three friends on the way from the train to Hogwarts?
9. What date in October did the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrive?
10. What color were Percy's dress robes at the Yule Ball?
a. Navy Blue
Picture Scavenger Hunt Links
World Cup Tournament
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Monday, 28 January 2008
I was in need of Retail Therapy this Saturday so I totally forgot that ITV were showing The Prisoner of Azkaban. I got home in time for the last 10 minutes! I'll have to try and watch my DVD copy before next Saturday when they are showing The Goblet of Fire!!!
I'm finding it really difficult to put together a package for my swap partner as she doesn't answer my emails (sorry, owls) and doesn't Blog much about knitting. So far I have selected the needles to send, chosen a bag pattern that EVERYONE will like (no offence there) and have narrowed the yarn choice down to 2 types. I'm not sure about the stitchmarkers yet and I am really stumped when it comes to the 'extras' as she has given me no clues......still there's plenty of time left in this swap for her to give out some useful information.
I am enjoying the swap though, patiently waiting each day for the Ravenclaw riddle, getting frustrated when it arrives whilst I am asleep or committed to Family things. I am also at the bottom of the leader board with just 1 point!!! Will have to try harder on that one. Quidditch starts this week and although I have some idea about what we are supposed to do, I really haven't got a clue and don't even know if the 4 hour window we've been given to play in, is a suitable time for Europeans - will have to try and find out.
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Monday, January 28, 2008
Friday, 25 January 2008
I've joined this Group on Ravelry. It's a Sock Club for people who don't want or can't afford to join one of those Sock Clubs that sends out yarn and patterns each month to its members. In the Ravelry Group, two patterns are issued each month and you choose which one to knit.
January's patterns are Cabletini (toe-up) or Bellatrix (cuff down). I have chosen Cabletini because my first Bellatrix was not a success and, having frogged a whole sock, I couldn't face doing it again.
I am using a Red sock yarn, cheap and cheerful off ebay (about £2). My first attempt at photos wer not successful because of the light, I'll have another go during daylight at the weekend. I'm really bored with the pattern though and I'm beginning to wonder if I have enough energy to actually finish the pair before the end of the month. It's a very nice pattern and I'm sure I will wear the finished socks, they're just boring to knit.
Why not join us for February - patterns are Earl Grey and Sydney......
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Friday, January 25, 2008
Friday, 18 January 2008
I haven't felt like knitting really so I decided to catch up on some reading. It's the Richard & Judy Book Club again and this time the 10 books are:-
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann
Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon
A Quiet Belief in Angels by Roger Jon Ellory
Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Visible World by Mark Slouka
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
Blood River by Tim Butcher
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
The TV programme has already covered A Thousand Splendid Suns and although they loved it and Jeanne did too, I'm not all that interested in reading it so I'm skipping it.....I read Visible World by Mark Slouka instead as the back of the book said it was set in Prague and I really loved it there when I visited in 2006. I was really disappointed with the book though and found it hard to stick with until the end, it's very disjointed and because some parts of it deal with the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia there are some very sad and gruesome passages which are not nice to read.
The next book was much better - 'Notes from an Exhibition' by Patrick Gale. It's a complicated story to explain but it tells the story of a woman, Rachel, who is a highly gifted Artist but who also has Bi-Polar disorder. I loved every word of it.....
I've now started 'The Rose of Sebastopol' and I'll let you know what it's like after the weekend!
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, 17 January 2008
I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I haven't Blogged for days and I really meant to do it more often in 2008. I do have a good excuse though....On Saturday 12th I found myself with the Maxillo-Facial Surgeon having a tooth removed, the bone was infected and I can't tell you how much it all hurt. To add insult to injury, I will have to have a bone graft before I can have an implant and replace the tooth.
I was in pain Saturday/Sunday/Monday and then went back to the Dentist who decided it was infected and prescribed antibiotics. Today I went back again and had another 2.5 hours of Dental Work. I'm sure you'll understand why it's been quiet here on the GreenGreen Planet.
I spent Saturday afternoon wrapped up in a blanket watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Gosh they all look young. I also noticed a distinct lack of knitwear - hardly any gratuitous shots of knitted jumpers, scarves and hats in this film. The Order of the Phoenix is filled to the brim with knitwear but all we had in this film were the Christmas Letter Sweaters that Harry and Ron were given by Mrs Weasley. Next Saturday ITV are showing the Chamber of Secrets, I'm looking forward to it. (Yes even though we have them all on DVD and could, theoretically sit down and watch them at any time, I still make popcorn from scratch and provide fizzy drinks for the kids and we all watch together!)
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
I must have been feeling guilty but last night I got out all of my Sock Yarn to see how much I had. I have enough for 16 pairs (not including the 3 single socks I have in the bag). I suppose that's quite small compared to some of my Knitting Friends but it seems awfully big to me....
I joined the Sock a Month KAL (sign-ups are closed now ) to help motivate me to use some of it.
Here is my first pair - Jaywalkers (yes I know I'm late to the party)
They appear much darker than they are in real life, the close-up below shows the lovely colours much better and it also shows just how well the hand painted yarn shows up in the zigzag pattern.
The yarn is Emilie Parsons Sophie's Toes, colourway Christmas Lights. It's a joy to knit with, really soft and with enough stretch to cope with the heel etc. Thanks Jeanne, I love this yarn!
To make the KAL a bit more interesting, I've added an extra challenge. I'll do one pair cuff down ( Jaywalker), 1 pair Toe-up, 1 Pair with an alternative sock architecture, 1 pair magic loop (i WILL master the magic loop) and 1 pair knitting both socks at the same time. I'll let you know how I get on!!
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Don't ask me why I'm joining another swap when I had TWO disappointing ones in 2007. Filled with hope and the realisation that, although I have read all 7 books and seen the movies many times, my knowledge of the books is miniscule compared to some of the other participants!
Anyway I've been sorted into Ravenclaw and been given a 'Harry Potter' name so now I can earn 5 House Points by adding a link in the sidebar. So I'm off to a reasonable start but if I could just get my head round how the rest of the swap works.....
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Thursday, 3 January 2008
A little late but what the heck, here's my review of 2007...
Firstly, was I Green enough? Well I'll bet I've been Greener than 95% of the planet this year (which doesn't say much for the human race really) but I know for a fact I haven't been anywhere near perfect. Here's what we did well on this year.....
1. All new light bulbs this year have been low energy ones. (now the living room is so dim in the evening that I'm going to have to buy one of those downlighters with a daylight bulb which kind of defeats the object doesn't it?)
2. We recycled almost everything in our household waste - Paper, cardboard, plastic, textiles, Green Waste etc. Waste food was composted in one of two heaps. Anything re-usable was Freecycled or taken to the Charity shop. Our bin was NEVER full so our contribution to the local landfill site was minimal.
3. We mended the tumble dryer instead of getting a new one.
4. We turned all the electrical appliances off every night instead of leaving things on standby - the exception of course is the Sky box because it really seems to hate being turned on and off and takes 3 hours to warm up.
Things I shouldn't have done but will carry on doing in 2008:-
1. Using the car to do the school run. If anyone would like to try to walk my 3 to and from school twice a day in the rain, wind and freezing cold they are welcome, it takes over an hour and you'd have to do it twice a day. Whilst you do it for me and save the planet, I'll put the kettle on!
2. Throw out food when I've bought too much of it. I really should freeze stuff and read up on leftover recipes.....I could try buying less but that usually means more trips in the car to the shop....difficult carbon footprint choice here.
3. Bought so many books that I still haven't read. I'm a sucker for Amazon and for 'real' book shops and I can't see myself giving up this little vice anytime soon.
Things we will be trying to do in 2008:-
1. Buy less stuff.
2. Give unwanted and unused stuff away - forget about ebay, land of the criminals and fraudsters, this year we'll just be charitable instead.
3. Compost all our waste food in a wormery or similar - the boys like the idea of the worms.....
No review would be complete without saying something about Knitting. Several of my online friends have completed variations on this end of year knitting meme and I've blatantly copied it from them.
Favourite yarn of 2007
Sophie's Toes, recently sent to me by Jeanne. It's a delight to look at, to touch and to knit with.
p.s. to anyone who sent me yarn in 2007, please don't be offended that I didn't pick yours as the favourite - I'm a yarn tart, I like whatever I can see in front of me....
Gotta be the Knitpicks Harmony Circular set. It's breathtakingly beautiful and really well made. Now if only I could get the hang of magic loop....
Favourite new pattern
Skin of the Sea by Ilga Leja. I WILL knit this, I WILL knit this....
Favourite project of 2007
I haven't been as prolific as I would like to have been but I guess it's got to be Tilted Duster
Worst Project of 2007
Hummphhhhh. Glade was terrible, a real drag to finish and I've only worn it twice. I also have several single socks that need to be frogged in 2008.....
Favourite new technique
I learnt alot of things about knitting techniques this year - I knitted my first socks both toe-up and cuff down, I mastered beaded lace in the Mytery Stole, I did my first short rows in the dreaded Glade. It's no good I haven't got a favourite, maybe in 2008?
Favourite knitting website
Ravelry! I don't spend as much time on it as some people I know but I am finding it an increasingly pleasant waste of my spare time. This year I need to start using it to match up my stash with the right projects and make a list of yarn I need.
Favourite knitting book
Norah Gaughan Knitting Nature
Knitting Wish Lish for 2008 (please note, I did NOT say the word 'resolution'.)
Finish the Mystery Stole 3
Get the yarn stash down to just the two boxes that fit under the bed......
Make more sweaters and fewer socks!
Master Magic Loop, even if I then decide never to use it again!
Posted by NotSoCarbonNeutral at Thursday, January 03, 2008